I looked up at the moon and it looked back at me as if to say “I know what you’ve been doing!” I was mired in my addictions. My marriage was all but over and I wasn’t authentic in my relationships with anyone I knew.
I went to bed that night in a panic. The moon knew my truth and wasn’t going to let me go on forever hiding it. Something had to change. The next day I found Refuge Recovery. A few days later I attended my first meeting.
If I could just dry out, I might be able to turn things around. Drying out helped but, it wasn’t a solution. I realized I really needed sobriety.
If I could just get sober and stay sober, perhaps everything would be ok. It was better but, everything was not ok. I needed to embrace recovery.
I threw myself headlong into recovery. I even started a meeting that turned into three meetings. Being of service provided connection and purpose. Things continued to improve, however, everything was still not ok. I was not yet acting authentically in my relationships. I wasn’t giving anyone a chance to know who I really was. If I followed my dream and hiked the Appalachian trail, perhaps everything would be okay.
I learned a lot while hiking the AT. It taught me to let others help me; to let go of my fear of being dependent on others. I learned to simplify my life; that I could be happy with less. I was beginning to let people in even while still keeping them at a slight distance. I was beginning to see that I needed to control relationships in order to be comfortable in them. Things were improving. Authenticity was still a struggle.
In recovery, I have embraced trying things that I want to do but fear. Swing dancing is one of those things. Dancing teaches me that in order to be a good dance partner, I have to be clear with my communication. Interestingly enough, that’s true of all relationships. Dancing has helped me be a better human. To laugh off my mistakes and not take myself so seriously. And it helps me start to find my authenticity.
As the result of the ending of a relationship, I started attending Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families (ACA). It was a short relationship but, it illustrated how emotionally unavailable I was. Through ACA, I am learning that I’m afraid of my emotions. And that because I’m afraid of them, I try to avoid putting myself in situations where my emotions might arise. With the help of my ACA community and family and friends, I’m learning how to feel and express my emotions. It sucks! Not really but, it’s hard.
I had been working with a therapist throughout, however, that relationship wasn’t serving me. I fired him and found my current therapist. She is the absolute best! She has shown me that it’s ok to not be ok. That safe relationships allow room for all of my emotions. And that the type of relationships I want to have are with people who can accept my emotions and are able to express their own.
My recovery had been multifaceted and robust. I have learned so much about myself. These experiences have helped me to accept myself and other people, to accept the things I can’t change, to recognize that things change even when I don’t want them to, that I don’t have to be right, my prince doesn’t determine my value as a human and that I am lovable regardless of circumstances.
I have really struggled to love myself. I have struggled to speak my truth, to express my hurt and joy. At times I thought “who in the fuck do you think you are trying to live an authentic life and pursue happiness?”
I’ll tell you who I am! I’m Kenny Fucking Dunn and today I celebrate 6 years of recovery. I love myself and the mess that I am.
Ask the moon, it knows my story!